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Elevate Round Up

How to successfully automate TA processes and save recruiters' time



On 9 Feb 2023, we invited Minnie Pangli, Senior Resourcing Manager at Balfour Beatty to take the Elevate hot seat.

Minnie shared how she'll be using her 2023 TA budget to transform Balfour Beatty's tech, automating the manual admin involved in their current TA process and freeing up her recruitment team to focus on what they do best.

Minnie then humbly asked the room of brilliant TA brains to help her with her strategy and figure out how to make it even better.

Minnie Pangli

Don't invest in a CRM if you don't have a proactive sourcing strategy in place. Without that strategy, you won't see a return on your investment.

Key takeaways


1. The questions TA Leaders should ask themselves when looking at automation of their TA processes

Once Minnie had shared her plan to tackle this, she raised some key questions that need answering and asked for the room's help with this. We also had some great questions from the room. So we've summarised these questions below - hopefully a useful resource for anyone going through the same process:

  • What data is generated in the talent acquisition process?
  • What data is actually needed to get to an offer?
  • And why is that data needed?
  • How can that data be used to improve the performance of TA?
  • What's the primary driver for going through this process?
  • What are the biggest pain points of your process that need addressing?
  • Do you have defined start and end dates for this project?
  • Do you really need to automate these processes through tech? If so, which ones are the most important?
  • What are the key touch points of the candidate and hiring manager experience perspective?
  • Are your processes consistent?
  • How could you make your processes as simple as possible with the fewest possible steps?
  • If you're building a new process, how are you going to get your recruitment team on board with this?
  • Are you truly 'starting from scratch' or is this about getting legacy systems to integrate effectively?

2. Only 30% of the room were using a CRM - and 0% found their CRM valuable

TA Leaders are often misled into thinking a CRM system will be the silver bullet solution to their talent shortage and admin-heavy processes.

We asked the room of 60+ TA Leaders to raise their hand if they were using a CRM system. 30% of the room did so. We then asked them to keep their hands raised if they were getting value from that CRM system - everyone put their hand down.

Used in the right way, CRM systems can give talent acquisition a real advantage when it comes to filling future critical skills sets. But the problem is that TA Leaders often attempt to implement them without a clear understanding of the purpose it's going to serve.

Often this will be a blanket roll-out to all recruiters and sourcers, insisting that the CRM system is used to manage every hire. But for vacancy-led, high-volume hiring, CRM systems can be more of a curse than a blessing.

Think about the people that generally sit in those roles - they're on the phones, talking to people, working at pace and often not great at keeping on top of their admin. And importantly, their performance is being measured on their ability to fill vacancies at speed.

But CRM systems are more effective at measuring the success of engagement and conversations. So they are much better utilised in skills-led and research-led sourcing.

CRM systems can be a highly effective way of building talent pools to give you a competitive advantage in the next three years for those 10-15% of specialist hires.

So, to summarise, don't invest in a CRM if you don't have a proactive sourcing strategy in place. Without that strategy, you won't see a return on your investment. An ATS is a much better solution for high volume recruitment.


3. We are all on a journey - and that's okay

Marketing teams have been attempting to master CRM systems for 20 years. And they're only just wrapping their head around how it can be used to demonstrate the value of marketing, as well as its limitations. Talent acquisition is at the very beginning of that journey.

And if there's one thing talent acquisition can learn from marketing teams, it's that a CRM system cannot do everything for you - so be selective about the purpose it serves.

Before jumping into investing in tech, TA Leaders can learn from questioning the question. So instead of asking 'how can I effectively implement a CRM system', ask 'how can tech make recruitment better?'. Let's strip it back: what are we trying to build? And why? And once we've built it, how will we measure it accurately? What value do we want it to add? Only then can we really answer how tech helps recruitment.


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